As in, Full of Great.
Step 2 tells us we can reach a state of gratitude in the which we can be grateful for trials IN THE MIDST of enduring them.
Can't that be optional? I mean, life throws us all curves, jumps, bumps, scrapes, scorns... and they really suck. Being grateful for sucky things is just, well, not expected of anyone anymore.
We embrace suckiness, and there's a million or so facebook status updates out there to prove it.
This trial doesn't make me want to be great-anything except maybe MAYBE world's greatest consumer of chocolate.
I find myself saying, "great."
But "full" never follows it -and joy never accompanies it (I just gained ten stress n' chocolate pounds. grrrrrreeeeat).
There are days when I'm greatly tired, greatly discouraged.
Today, for example, I'm greatly confused and wish my husband came with a great manual. For that matter, I wish each of my kids did as well. Wouldn't it be so handy to have a diagnostic receipt print out their bottoms when Mom is greatly lost? We live in the Age of Information, for greatness sake. Why aren't answers printing from butts?
Two years ago, I did the best I could. Some days the BEST I could do was simply stay married that day. I was not grateful for porn. I was not grateful for addiction. I was not grateful for anything. I hated the bed I curled up in because I could FEEL it telling me I needed it because of porn.
I hated the sweats I wore because PORN made me wear them.
I couldn't even be grateful for food. Even food was porn-tainted. I ate it to cope and porn made me need to cope. It was all porn. Porn food.
If someone had come into my bedroom, took my carton of ice cream away and told me to be grateful, I might have gone slightly ballistic.
Today hasn't been awesome.
But I have jeans on and I'm wearing mascara, so that's something... and this evening I turned to my Step 2 in the Healing Through Christ manual and read the words
"We choose to be thankful for everything in our lives;
for what we have and who we are. It can be a life
changing experience when we sincerely express
gratitude to our Father in Heaven in prayer for the
trials we are currently experiencing. We express our
appreciation for His wisdom in allowing us to learn
from our own experience. We trust that He will guide
us through our trials, and that He will help us learn
the lessons that will allow our challenges to bless our
In the past, I've wallowed. I believe that in my own life, a certain amount of honest wallowing is vital.
My wallowing is usually followed by a "fake it 'till you feel it" phase in the which I break the habit of negativity often created during the wallowing phase (note: I can skip faking 'till feeling if I have tamed my wallowing to the point of not allowing habitual negativity to form).
Faking 'till feeling is often followed by gratitude, but never gratitude for trials -only gratitude for other things that bring me joy: sunsets, John Wayne, F. Scott Fitzgerald, electricity...
By then my head is usually cleared of enough wallowing to be able to finally realize how grateful I am for the trial I had been given.
Never ONCE have I been grateful for a trial in the midst of it.
100% of the time, I am grateful for the trial after it is over.
Today I was given the gift of a trial. Today I read the words written above. Today is my chance to express gratitude for a trial while I'm still grappling with it, but I only want to do it if I can do it honestly.
I don't want to fake it 'til I feel it with my Father in Heaven.
I want to come to Him and honestly be able to say that I appreciate the trials in front of me because even though they are hard and confusing and make me involuntarily consume mass amounts of comfort food... they have a divine purpose behind them. They have a point.
What doesn't kill you... and all that.
It's time for a gratitude experiment... and may we all meet together come November in a Cyber Thanksgiving Feast and express -honestly -what we are grateful for.
We will be among friends when we say, in unison, "I'm grateful for pornography addiction."
We'll know what we mean by it... right? No one's judging.
And just so you know, I make a mean Butternut Squash Bake.
And you know what? I'm thankful for that recipe. So to start off my forming a new habit of expressing gratitude in written form:
#1) My recipe book that stuffed to the brim with old family recipes and new recipes that I dug up with a huge hand from Google.
#2) John Wayne movies that make me swoony, even when they weren't made to.
#3) Baby sneezes.
#4) Chalkboard paint.